NightOwl Convenience Stores
|Products||Foods and staples|
Established by a former Woolworth's Store Manager, the first store opened in 1975 and was located in the Brisbane suburb of Auchenflower. The store pre-dated 7-Eleven opening in Australia by 12 months. The store traded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, offering an extensive range of traditional supermarket grocery items-together with fresh fruit, vegetables and hot bbq chickens. The store was popular with the growing student and yuppy community in the district. The business concept was franchised in 1987.
In 1995, NightOwl was floated on the stock exchange and was bought out by Retail Services Limited in 1996. RSL is a diversified holdings group mainly based in the retail sector, this helped take NightOwl nationwide
The NightOwl business was purchased by David Hodge in September 2001. The companies Senior Management was changed and the business was re-aligned with a new focus being placed upon growth. Store livery was modernised, multiple-site franchisees were encouraged within the business and investment in training was increased. Taking up the Chair of the 'Australasian Association of Convenience Stores' (AACS) for 2003 and 2004, NightOwl increased its profile within the industry and played host to regular AACS functions within Queensland.
In 2007, the Franchise business was sold to Adam Adams and his company Think Convenience. Adam and his wife Katrina are also the owners of six NightOwl stores in Cairns and North Queensland. As part of a strategy to increase growth dynamically, Think Convenience has re-introduced the company store method of expansion used extensively by Retail Services and discontinued by David Hodge. In order to facilitate the development of new regions and states, company-owned and operated stores were established. In regions like Townsville in Queensland, this has ensured new growth where initially franchisees were not available. Once established in this new area, NightOwl can then encourage franchising using company stores as examples of the business system.
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The first NightOwl was opened by a previous Woolworths manager trained owner—Don Haliwell—in about 1969, and had Garry Renshaw working nights for about 9 1/2 years—into the take-over and ownership of another ex-Woolworths trained. at the time (1969 - approx.1973) the NightOwl was famous—with very competitive prices to the main supermarkets, and was always reliably open till at least midnight, and slowly—in spite of very restrictive trading laws by the Bjelke-Petersen government—added to the range of goods sold till it could be called a real supermarket, from convenience store....visitors to Brisbane, country folk from the country during exhibitions and shows, customers from all over Brisbane came to shop there for the prices, range of goods, and social aspect of the clientele... after the take-over by Rod Craig—it became more like a franchise, and less like a family store, and grew to become less of the previous, and much more spread through the east coast...losing much of the price advantage, range of stock, and personality of service...from a great beginning it has become a major force in retail.
NightOwl Convenience Stores are typically 150 square metres in size and in contrast to the American owned 7-Eleven Group, NightOwl has only one fuel outlet and continues to focus on the fresh food and grocery market.
There are 2 'NightOwl Super Stores'. These new format stores are as a result of the purchase and conversion of a Foodworks, and an IGA store. The Foodworks in Torquay Queensland was the first purchased and all three of the 'Super' stores are owned by the Franchisor.
- "NightOwl Convenience Stores: Private Company Information". BusinessWeek. Bloomberg. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- The NightOwl Official website